Are you planning a trip and wondering if you can check into your hotel early? Have you ever arrived at a hotel before the standard check-in time?
If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer to your question: Early check-in fees vary from hotel to hotel, ranging anywhere from free to a full night’s rate.
In this article, we’ll cover everything you need to know about early check-in fees at hotels. We’ll discuss what early check-in is, why hotels charge for it, how to avoid fees, and much more. So, let’s get started!
What is Early Check-In?
Early check-in is a service provided by hotels that allows guests to check into their rooms before the standard check-in time. Typically, hotels have a designated check-in time, which is usually in the afternoon, around 3 pm or 4 pm. However, if guests arrive early and their room is available, they can check in earlier than the standard check-in time for an additional fee.
Definition of Early Check-In
Early check-in refers to the ability of hotel guests to check into their rooms before the standard check-in time. The standard check-in time varies by hotel but is typically in the afternoon, around 3 pm or 4 pm. Early check-in fees vary by hotel and are typically charged by the hour or a flat fee for the entire early check-in time.
Typical Check-In Times
The typical check-in time for hotels is in the afternoon, around 3 pm or 4 pm. This allows the housekeeping staff enough time to clean and prepare the rooms for new guests. However, some hotels may have earlier or later check-in times, so it’s always best to check with the hotel before arrival to confirm the check-in time.
Why Guests Request Early Check-In
Guests may request early check-in for a variety of reasons. For example, if they have an early flight and arrive at the hotel before the standard check-in time, they may want to check in and rest before starting their day. Additionally, guests may want to check in early if they have plans for the day and want to drop off their luggage before heading out. Finally, guests may simply want to maximize their time at the hotel and take advantage of all of the amenities and services offered.
It’s important to note that not all hotels offer early check-in, and those that do may charge an additional fee. It’s always best to check with the hotel before arrival to confirm the check-in time and any associated fees.
Why Do Hotels Charge for Early Check-In?
Early check-in is a popular request among hotel guests who arrive before the standard check-in time, usually around 3:00 pm. However, hotels often charge an additional fee for this service. Here are some reasons why:
Reasons Hotels Charge for Early Check-In
- Operational Costs: One of the main reasons hotels charge for early check-in is that it requires additional resources. For instance, if a guest checks out early, the room needs to be cleaned and prepared for the next guest. If a new guest arrives before the standard check-in time, the hotel has to allocate additional staff to clean and prepare the room in a shorter time frame, which can be costly.
- Supply and Demand: Another reason why hotels charge for early check-in is supply and demand. During peak seasons or events, hotels may have a high demand for rooms, making it profitable for them to charge extra for early check-in.
- Room Availability: Hotels may also charge for early check-in if they have limited room availability. If a guest wants to check-in earlier than the standard time, it may require the hotel to make a room available that was previously occupied and hasn’t been cleaned yet.
Costs Associated with Early Check-In
The cost of early check-in varies from hotel to hotel. Some hotels charge a flat fee, while others charge an hourly rate. The fee can range from $10 to $150, depending on the hotel’s location, star rating, and demand for rooms.
It’s important to note that early check-in fees are non-refundable. If a guest decides to cancel their reservation or change their check-in time, they may still be charged for the early check-in fee.
Revenue from Early Check-In Fees
Early check-in fees can be a significant source of revenue for hotels. According to a survey by the American Hotel and Lodging Association, hotels in the United States generated $2.7 billion in ancillary fees in 2018, which included early check-in fees.
While some guests may be unhappy about paying extra for early check-in, hotels see it as a way to generate revenue and cover the costs associated with providing this service.
How Much Do Early Check-In Fees Cost?
Early check-in can be a great option for travelers who arrive at their destination earlier than anticipated. However, hotels often charge additional fees for this service. The cost of early check-in fees varies depending on several factors.
Ranges of Early Check-In Fees
Early check-in fees can range from as low as $10 to as high as $100 or more. Some hotels may offer early check-in for free if the room is available, while others may charge a flat fee or a percentage of the nightly room rate. It’s important to check with the hotel beforehand to understand their early check-in policy and associated fees.
Factors That Affect Early Check-In Fees
Several factors can affect the cost of early check-in fees. One of the most significant factors is the hotel’s location and demand. Hotels in popular tourist destinations or during peak travel seasons may charge higher fees for early check-in due to increased demand for rooms. Additionally, the hotel’s star rating and amenities can also impact the cost of early check-in. Luxury hotels may charge higher fees compared to budget hotels.
Examples of Early Check-In Fees at Popular Hotel Chains
|Hotel Chain||Early Check-In Fee|
|Hilton||$25 – $50|
|Marriott||$25 – $75|
|Hyatt||$25 – $100|
It’s important to note that early check-in fees can vary greatly even within the same hotel chain, so it’s always best to check with the specific hotel you plan to stay at to understand their policies and fees.
How to Avoid Early Check-In Fees
Early check-in can be a great convenience for travelers, especially those who arrive at their destination early in the morning after a long flight. However, hotels often charge a fee for early check-in, which can be a frustrating expense for travelers on a budget. In this article, we will explore some tips on how to avoid early check-in fees and save some money on your next hotel stay.
Join Hotel Loyalty Programs
One way to avoid early check-in fees is to join the loyalty program of the hotel chain you are planning to stay with. Many hotel loyalty programs offer perks like early check-in, late check-out, and room upgrades to their members. By joining the loyalty program, you may be able to skip the early check-in fee altogether or get it waived as a perk of your membership.
For example, Marriott Bonvoy offers early check-in as a perk for their Platinum Elite and Titanium Elite members. Hilton Honors offers early check-in as a perk for their Gold and Diamond members. By joining these loyalty programs and reaching the required elite status, you can enjoy early check-in without any extra charges.
Use Hotel Credit Cards
Another way to avoid early check-in fees is to use a hotel credit card. Many hotel credit cards offer perks like early check-in, late check-out, and room upgrades as a benefit of the card. By using the hotel credit card to book your stay, you may be able to skip the early check-in fee altogether or get it waived as a benefit of your card.
For example, the World of Hyatt Credit Card offers early check-in as a benefit of the card. The Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card offers early check-in as a benefit of the card, along with many other perks like free breakfast, room upgrades, and more. By using these hotel credit cards to book your stay, you can enjoy early check-in without any extra charges.
Ask for Early Check-In in Advance
If you are not a member of a hotel loyalty program and do not have a hotel credit card, another way to avoid early check-in fees is to ask for it in advance. Call the hotel ahead of time and ask if early check-in is available and if there is a fee associated with it. By asking in advance, you may be able to negotiate the fee or get it waived altogether.
It is important to note that early check-in is not always guaranteed, especially during peak travel season when hotels are at full occupancy. However, by asking in advance, you can increase your chances of getting early check-in without any extra charges.
Tips for Making the Most of Your Early Check-In
If you want to take advantage of early check-in at a hotel, it’s important to arrive as early as possible. Most hotels require check-in at 3:00 pm or later, but if you arrive early, there’s a chance your room may be ready for you. According to a survey conducted by Hotel Business, 44% of hotels are willing to accommodate early check-in requests if rooms are available.
Be Prepared to Wait
Even if you arrive early, be prepared to wait for your room to be ready. If your hotel is busy, there may be a backlog of rooms that need to be cleaned and prepared for guests. In some cases, you may need to wait several hours before your room is ready. To pass the time, consider exploring the hotel’s amenities or nearby attractions.
Make a Plan
To make the most of your early check-in, it’s important to have a plan. Consider what you want to do with your extra time. Would you like to relax by the pool or explore the local area? If you have a specific activity in mind, make sure to check the hours of operation and plan accordingly. Additionally, consider packing a bag with essentials like sunscreen, a book, and snacks to make the most of your time.
In conclusion, early check-in fees at hotels can be a hassle for travelers, but they are a necessary part of the hotel industry. Hotels charge for early check-in to cover the costs associated with preparing rooms for guests before the standard check-in time. However, by joining hotel loyalty programs, using hotel credit cards, or asking for early check-in in advance, you can avoid these fees. Remember to arrive early, be prepared to wait, and make a plan to make the most of your early check-in experience. We hope this article has been helpful in answering your questions about early check-in fees at hotels.